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Nepal tensions

The Nepali peace process is now under enormous pressure as the government seeks the renegotiation of the 2006 peace accord (to disadvantage the Maoist former guerrillas), and the Maoists block the passing of the national budget in a tangled civilian-military dispute.
Defence minister Bidhya Devi Bhandari said on 22 October that the comprehensive peace accord (CPA) must be reviewed “no matter what anyone says”.
She claimed that the CPA might have damaged the Nepali army’s efficiency, and she called for the recruitment of 5,000 new soldiers, in contravention of the CPA.
Karin Landgren, head of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), said that the defence minister’s statements were “provocative” and could jeopardise the ongoing peace negotiations.
The Maoists, for their part, are blocking the passing of the budget until they get a debate in parliament on the conduct of the president, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, in over-ruling the previous Maoist-led administration. (See PN 2510.)
Since mid-October, the start of the Nepali month of Kartik, the government has been unable to pay salaries to ministers, security forces or other employees.
At the time of going to press, the Maoists were threatening to begin street protests on 2 November.

Topics: Nepal